Christine Quinn’s bid to become Mayor of New York has been backed by the powerful New York Times editorial board.
The Times endorsed the Irish American lesbian City Council Speaker as the Democratic choice to lead the city.
The ringing endorsement from The New York Times will be seen as a major boost by the Quinn camp.
The paper describes Quinn as the ‘candidate who is ready to carry on at least as well as he (Bloomberg) did’.
The article isn’t all glowing however. The Times launches a full frontal attack on her support for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and his policies on stop and frisk and surveillance on Muslim groups.
Though the city is the safest it has been for decades the Times takes issue with Kelly who Quinn says she may try to keep as police commissioner.
It states: “Some positions Ms. Quinn has supported are unwise or objectionable. She has been too strong in supporting Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, the architect and stoutest defender of stop-and-frisk.
“She has supported, too blindly, Mr. Kelly’s practice of spying on Muslims at prayer, a similar false choice of public safety over the Constitution.
The New York Times editorial board tells readers: “She is one of seven Democrats who have been toiling for months in the primary race, standing before voters day and night in a marathon of civic engagement.
“A common complaint is that this year’s candidates look small, like dots on the slopes of Mount Bloomberg. But that isn’t fair; all but a few are solid public servants running substantive campaigns.
“Though the race was crashed, and distracted for a few irritating weeks, by the unqualified Anthony Weiner, it has since sobered up, and voters are paying attention.
“It is clear by now - and last Wednesday’s debate made it even clearer - that the best in the group is Christine Quinn.
“Ms. Quinn, the City Council speaker, offers the judgment and record of achievement anyone should want in a mayor. Two opponents - Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, and William Thompson Jr., former comptroller - offer powerful arguments on their own behalf.
“But Ms. Quinn inspires the most confidence that she would be the right mayor for the inevitable times when hope and idealism collide with the challenge of getting something done.”
The leader writers believe Quinn’s political past entitles her to have real aspirations to win the election.
The paper adds: “Ms. Quinn has been an impressive leader since her days as a neighborhood advocate and her early years on the City Council.
“We endorsed her for the Council in 1999 as someone ‘who can both work within the system and criticize it when necessary’ - a judgment she has validated many times since.
“She has shepherded through important laws protecting New Yorkers’ health, safety and civil rights, including measures banning public smoking, protecting tenants and small businesses, and battling slumlords.
“She sponsored the sweeping 2007 legislation that made the city’s exemplary campaign-finance laws even stronger. She pushed successfully for a state law making kindergarten mandatory for 5-year-olds - giving thousands of poor and minority children a better start on their educations.
“As speaker, Ms. Quinn has been a forceful counterpart to Mr. Bloomberg, and has turned the Council from a collection of rambunctious, ill-directed egos into a forceful and effective legislative body.
The New York Times also believes that Quinn is able to carry on the Bloomberg mantle.
It says: “Mr. Bloomberg has raised expectations that hard decisions should be made on the merits - that the city needs a mayor who is willing to say no.
“More than with the other candidates, that description fits Ms. Quinn. As an early leader in the campaign, with a target on her back, she has faced anger and derision without wavering.
“We admire her staunch support for the city’s solid-waste management plan, which is good for the whole city but bitterly opposed in some neighborhoods.“She has a reputation for shouting, but has shown a capacity to listen, and to be persuaded to change her mind - attributes we will count on seeing more of if she is elected.”
The article concludes: “We had already made up our own minds in favor of Ms. Quinn, but the Wednesday debate would have clinched it anyway.
“Candidates were asked what legacy they wanted to leave after two terms. ‘More people in the middle class,’ Ms. Quinn said. It was a perfect answer, and she could have left it there.
“But, Quinn being Quinn, she threw in supporting details. She wants 40,000 more apartments the middle class can afford to live in.
“She wants to repair crumbling public housing, providing ‘quality conditions’ for 600,000 people. She wants to make the school day longer and replace textbooks with electronic tablets. At the buzzer, she threw in: make the city ‘climate-change ready’.
“A lot of good ideas that, in Ms. Quinn’s case, add up to an achievable vision, and one we would be glad to see come to pass.”
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore